With Stetson Kennedy, Wayne Greenhaw before we appeared together during a Civil Rights Session at the the 2011 Amelia Island Book Festival. Tragically, both Stetson and Wayne died later that year. More »
Members of the 1960 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP TODAY---with Marjorie Meeks Brown, Dr. Arnett E. Girardeau, Iona Godfrey King, Rometa Graham Porter, Isaac Carnes, Alton Yates. More »
With NAACP National Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins in 1960 when he spoke in Jacksonville at one of the NAACP Mass Meetings. More »
With Dr. Michael Eric Dyson-Speaker at the 2009 Jacksonville Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. More »
With Dr. Charles Ogletree, the Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice...and the Speaker at the 2008 Jacksonville Branch NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. Dr. Ogletree taught both Michelle Obama and President Obama at Harvard Law School. More »
Ruby Hurley and Ella Baker, two of 12 Civil Rights Icons immortalized in the 2009 USPS Stamp Issue-Civil Rights Pioneers. More »
Mrs. Ruby Hurley, Southeastern Regional Director NAACP and our 1960 NAACP Youth Council Surrogate Mother. Mrs. Hurley spent several months in Jacksonville (because of Ax Handle Saturday) directing her activities as NAACP director and working with us as we dealt with civil rights issues in Jacksonville. You can imagine my pride when she was selected and featured on a stamp as a Civil Rights Pioneer. More »
At the Lufrano Gallery on the Campus of the University of North Florida for an Exhibit of Images in my Book---with Granddaughter, Kita; Son, Rodney II; Wife, Ann; Family Friend, Cheryl Coffey; and Granddaughter, Jasmine. More »
Book Images Exhibit - It was never about a hot dog and a Coke!- at the Lufrano Gallery at the University of North Florida. More »
50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1960 Sit-ins and Ax Handle Saturday with members of the 1960 Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. From left...Issac Carnes, Marjorie Meeks Brown, Mary Chisholm Underwood, Iona Godfrey King, and Ann Albertie Hurst (yep my wife). In the rear of the Pulpit area at Bethel Baptist Institutional Church...from left...Ms. Adora Nweze, President of the Florida State Conference of Branches NAACP; Rev. Dr. Randolph Bracy; Isaiah Rumlin, President of the Jacksonville Branch; and Bethel Senior Co-Pastor, Bishop Rudolph McKissick Sr. More »
It was my honor to serve as Banquet Emcee at the 98th Convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Jacksonville, Florida October 5, 2013. Outstanding convention! More »
These elected Racist Republicant yokels/conservatives/ninnyhammers in Congress are throwing Impeachment Talk around without any regard to law or the Constitution. Racist Republicants and their Racist Minions might think they want the impeachment of President Obama but beware of what you ask for. Racist talk will ultimately have its Racist consequences.
Everyone understands this is a Racist Country wanting to impeach its First Black President simply because he is Black. Then you have members of the local and national press who are complicit in this racist rhetoric who could not explain impeachment and Article of Impeachment if their lives depended on it. They cannot report on what they do not understand. They never challenge the talk or ask intelligent questions on the basis of such talk. They only know that talk makes entertainment news(?) and maybe will mean an increase in their puny ratings. Couple that with the kind of rhetoric that criminally invites some psychopaths to take a pot shot at President Obama whether he is impeached or not. Then they exclaim, "We are not responsible".
So RACIST REPUBLICANTS and your PR Machine, continue to throw around the loose Impeachment talk. Understand, no one is cowering because of your stupidity. If you pray as you profess to do as so-called Christians ….and Racist Christians at that…Just Pray Real Hard Nothing Happens.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
John Podhoretz, a former speech writer for Ronald Reagan with a regular column in the New York Post, told musician John Legend to “shut up and play the piano” in a tweet sent on Wednesday afternoon (July 30, 2014). Podhoretz was prompted by a tweet that Legend sent criticizing Israel’s treatment of Secretary of State John Kerry.
Podhoretz’s tweet was widely criticized for playing into racist stereotypes of African American entertainers.
Rather than apologize or address the controversy, Podhoretz apparently deleted his Twitter account. He was an extremely active user of the Twitter, sending almost 70,000 tweets and attracting over 34,000 followers.
Podhoretz is also the editor of Commentary, a conservative magazine, and a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard.
Update…As of Thursday morning, Podhoretz’s Twitter has returned.
Is it a coincidence Racist Republicant members of the United States of Representatives are suing a Black President? Of course not. After all, this is the United States of America where your White skin color is your "Include Card", and your Black skin color is your "Exclude Card". For you Black folks who do not know any better—and you ARE out there—it does not matter how many White behinds you kiss, and it also does not make any difference how well you sing Doo Dah, YOU are still a Nigger. Racism is now…Racism was then…and Racism will remain, Racism.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
23 Quotes That Perfectly Explain Racism (To People Who Don’t “See Color”) by Erin Cossetta, thoughtcatalog.com
Excellent commentary by the MinistryofTruth from the Dailykos.com web site.
"I meet you all the time. You hate Obama. You hate gay people. You hate black people, immigrants, Muslims, labor unions, women who want the right to make choices concerning their bodies, you hate em all. You hate being called racist. You hate being called a bigot. Maybe if you talked about creating jobs more than you talk about why you hate gay people we wouldn't call you bigots. Maybe if you talked about black people without automatically assuming they are on food stamps while demanding their birth certificates we wouldn't call you racist. You hate socialism and social justice. You hate regulations and taxes and spending and the Government. You hate.
You like war. You like torture. You like Jesus. I don't know how in the hell any of that is compatible, but no one ever accused you haters of being over-committed to ideological consistency. You like people who look like you or at least hate most of the things that you hate. You hate everything else.
Now, I know you profess to love our country and the founding fathers (unless you are reminded that they believed in the separation of church and state), but I need to remind you that America is NOT what Fox News says it is. America is a melting pot, it always has been. We are a multi-cultural amalgamation of all kinds of people, and yet you still demonize everyone who is not a rich, white, heterosexual Christian male or his submissive and obedient wife.
You hate liberals, moderates, hell, anyone who disagrees with Conservative dogma as espoused by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. You hate’em.
Well, here are the facts, Jack. If you hate the Government then you are unqualified to manage it. If you hate gay people more than you love America than you should take your own advice and get the hell out. There are several countries that are openly hostile to gay people, but they are full of brown people and you don't like them much either from what I understand. It looks like you are screwed, but that's not what I am here to tell you.
Now that you have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at President Obama and it still hasn't worked you are panicking. Obama's approval ratings are still near 50% despite your best efforts to undermine the economy and America's recovery at every step you can. You tried to hold the American economy hostage to force America into default on its' debts, debts that YOU rang up under Bush, so you could blame it on Obama and it failed. You've used the filibuster more than any other Congress ever, going so far as to vote against providing health care access to 9/11 first responders. You remember 9/11, don't you, it's that thing you used to lie us into a war in Iraq, and then when Obama killed Bin Laden and ended the war in Iraq you told people that he hates America and wants the troops to fail. You monsters. You hate Obama with a passion, despite the fact that he is a tax cutting, deficit reducing war President who undermines civil rights and delivers corporate friendly watered down reforms that benefit special interests just like a Republican. You call him a Kenyan. You call him a socialist. You dance with your hatred singing it proudly in the rain like it was a 1950's musical.
Frankly, you disgust me. Your hatred nauseates me. Your bigotry offends me. Your racism revolts me.
Dear haters, I am openly questioning your patriotism. I think you hate gays, Obama, black people, poor people, all of us, women, atheists and agnostics, Latinos, Muslims, Liberals, all of us, I think you hate every one who isn't exactly like you, and I think you hate us more than you love your country.
I think you hate gay soldiers more than you want America to win its wars. I don't even think you want America to win wars, you just want America to have wars, never ending wars and the war profiteering it generates. You love that kind of spending, you love spending on faith based initiatives and abstinence based sex education (George Carlin would have loved that one), you love spending on subsidies for profitable oil corporations, you spend like drunken sailors when you are in the White House, but if it is a Democrat then suddenly you cheer when America doesn't get the Olympics because it might make the black President look bad. But oooh you love your country, you say, and you want it back. Well listen here skippy, it isn't your country, you don't own it, it is our country, and America is NOT the religiously extremist Foxbots who hate science, elitist professors and having a vibrant and meaningful sex life with someone we love if Rick Santorum doesn't approve of it. Rick Santorum isn't running for America's fucking high school dance chaperone, he should probably just shut the hell up about sex, but he can't because he has nothing else to run on.
Republicans can NOT win on the issues. They've got NOTHING. All they have is a divide and conquer class war that pits ignorant racist and bigoted people against the rest of us in a meaningless battle of wedge issues and the already proven to fail George W. Bush agenda again of tax cuts for the rich, deregulation, privatization and war profiteering and nothing else, so all they can do is blame black people, gays the government, anybody and everyone else for their own failings. The party of personal responsibility, my ass. But they love multi-national corporations, just ask a gay hating and racist religious extremist if they think Corporations are people and they will gladly agree, but if you ask them if gay people are people they aren't so sure.
Dear haters, you are the cruel, heartless misinformed assholes who would sell America out to Haliburton in a heartbeat, you would rather pay ZERO taxes than you would see a newly born baby get access to quality health care, you cheer when we discuss denying health care to young people with preventable diseases, and you boo when we discuss the First Ladies plan to cut back on childhood obesity. You are a cross to carry and a flag to wrap yourself in away from being the people who Sinclair Lewis warned us about, but I guarantee that if Fox News told you to dress that way you would, because you are the same blind, ignorant and closed minded dunces who drove this country into a civil war years ago because you are bound to the notion that some men are more equal than others. In short, the reason I proudly wear my union army hat is because of seditious sell outs like you who constantly fuck over working class Americans so a foreign entrepreneur like Rupert Murdoch can get a bigger tax break. If corporations are people, they are neither American patriots nor capable of love. Just like you.
So stop wearing your hate with pride. Stop celebrating your anti-science, anti-math ignorance. Stop using code words to mask your bigotry like "family values", especially when you hate my family and when you stand on the same stage as a guy who has had three marriages or if you share a seat in the Senate with a guy who cheated on his wife with hookers while wearing diapers. You should be ashamed. I know that you are just doing this to motivate your misinformed hate cult base because if they actually knew that your ideas will make them poorer than they are now, they would never vote for you. You are doing your best to impoverish your countrymen so rich people can get bigger tax breaks and you can keep on delivering corporate welfare to the special interests who have bribed you, and I am disgusted by the way you gleefully parade your hatred with aplomb. I don't think you do love America. At least, not as much as you hate everyone in America who isn't exactly like you.
You should think about that, and maybe get some help. And for the record, I do not hate you. I am embarrassed by you and nauseated by your cruel and thoughtless behavior and your all consuming greed, but I do not hate you. I forgive you and I hope you can change someday, but I don't hate you. You have enough hate in you for the rest of us as it is." Great words.
My words…Hatred and racism in this country are now interchangeable words. Racists and haters can say what they will, their hatred is racial and their racism is obvious. When you call them out for their obvious core racist attitudes, they blame you for using the race card. Guess what? I am using the race card. Many of you are racists and haters and one word/term/description is just like the other. Suffice it to say, We Know!!!
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
Watch the trailer above.
For those who missed Freedom Summer try and catch it on PBS repeat schedule. Several points. First, you have to be impressed with the courage and bravery of those who waded into that Den of Racism called Mississippi. The American Institution of Racism and its committed followers.
How Ironic on this day as hundreds of Freedom Summer Veterans (and other Civil Rights Movement veterans) are gathering in Mississippi for the next few days to commemorate the 50 year Anniversary of Freedom Summer, voter registration is again front an center but this time for a different reason.
How ironic Republicants had to 'count' on registered Black voters voting for a Republicant to save Thad Cochran's "hide" and also save the state from the possible election of a very vile racist tea party candidate. Cochran was strictly the lesser evil… which is how Blacks have been grading and voting for Racist White Candidates for decades in the South.
Cochran now moves on to face former Democratic Congressman Travis Childers in the general election, a race Cochran enters as the prohibitive favorite in this reddest of red-state Mississippi. Although Childers has a chance, this is still Mississippi. But who knows?
Michael Denzel Smith is an exceptional writer who writes for thenation.com. He absolutely gets it. Although this study is another the "discovery" of racism, it is an example of the created fabric of vile bias/bigotry against someone based on the color of their skin. Most Whites believe racism is a thing of the past…at least that is what they would like to believe. Everyday the American Institution of Racism created by White America rears its ugly virulent head and tries to win. It has an impressive track record, yet those who fight racism know it is a long journey and a long struggle.
Smith's words…"I read and write about issues of racism on a near daily basis, so I probably didn’t need a study to tell me that people don’t understand how racism works. But it helps.
University of California, Berkeley, professor Clayton R. Critcher and University of Chicago professor Jane L. Risen have published a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that shows when “non-African-Americans—whites, Asians and Hispanics—who had seen images of successful black Americans were less likely to believe that systemic racism persists,” according to The Hufffington Post. The study’s abstract reads: “After incidental exposure to Blacks who succeeded in counterstereotypical domains (e.g., Brown University President Ruth Simmons, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison), participants drew an automatic inference that race was not a success-inhibiting factor in modern society.”
Seeing images of successful black people makes others think racism doesn’t exist. That’s hardly surprising. Not much is when it comes to racism. But it underscores what’s so frustrating about our “national conversation on race.” People come to the table not understanding what racism is.
It’s not entirely their fault. Race Forward’s “Moving the Race Conversation Forward” report from January showed that “two-thirds of race-focused media coverage fails to consider how systemic racism factors into the story, instead typically focusing upon racial slurs and other types of personal prejudice and individual-level racism.” The result is the understanding of racism as a personal obstacle to be overcome, rather than a system of oppression rooted in white supremacy.
We aren’t closer to correcting that narrative when we celebrate the individuals who manage to “succeed” despite racism’s entrenchment. The impulse is understandable. Those individuals can serve as reminders of what is possible in the face of hopelessness. But individual symbols of progress seduce us into believing the system is fundamentally fair.
LeRoi Jones (later to be known as Amiri Baraka) addressed this in his 1962 essay “Tokenism: 300 Years for Five Cents”:
There are almost 20,000,000 Negroes in the United States. One of these 20 million has been given a two-dollar raise and promoted to a clerical job that my two-year-old daughter could probably work out without too much trouble. And we are told that this act is symbolic of the ‘gigantic strides the Negro has taken since slavery….
Somehow, and most especially in the United States, the fact that more Negroes can buy new Fords this year than they could in 1931 is supposed to represent some great stride forward. To where? How many new Fords will Negroes have to own before police in Mississippi stop using police dogs on them. How many television sets and refrigerators will these same Negroes have to own before they are allowed to vote without being made to live in tents, or their children allowed decent educations?
Symbols aren’t meaningless, but they are never strong enough to dismantle systems of oppression on their own. And as this recent study shows, they have the ability to convince people that those systems don’t even exist. If we’re having trouble getting to the first step acknowledging racism as a system of oppression, the prospects of actually undoing and replacing that system appear bleak."
Don't think this study is only for Whites. Blacks also need to know how racism works. Some Blacks forget they are Black and somehow are under the misapprehension the face looking back at them in the mirror is not Black. Maybe one day.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
"Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole."
In this day of electronic writing, blogging and journalism you occasionally read a commentary which is not only brilliant but literally blows you "out of the water". 'The Case for Reparations' by Ta-Nehisi Coates in one of those "pieces".
When you talk about reparations for Blacks in this country, the immediate reaction is incredulous laughter. Yet after they were kidnapped from Africa, Africans were immersed in a system of racism this Christian country had never seen but was willing to accept and endorse based on skin color. Thus the American Institution of Racism and its major (at the time) by-product of slavery was ushered into existence. When slavery ended, slaves were simply told you are free. Freedom is always good, no one should wallow in the ego-driven and racist driven process of living in chains. But no property..no money…no clothes nothing and newly freed slaves were expected to go out and have a good day?
Excerpt…."The early American economy was built on slave labor. The Capitol and the White House were built by slaves. President James K. Polk traded slaves from the Oval Office. The laments about ‘black pathology,’ the criticism of black family structures by pundits and intellectuals, ring hollow in a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of black fathers, on the rape of black mothers, on the sale of black children. An honest assessment of America’s relationship to the black family reveals the country to be not its nurturer but its destroyer."
- It acknowledges the fundamental injustice and inhumanity of slavery
- It establishes a commission to study slavery, its subsequent racial and economic discrimination against freed slaves;
- It studies the impact of those forces on today's living African Americans; and
- The commission would then make recommendations to Congress on appropriate remedies to redress the harm inflicted on living African Americans.
Coates article is brilliantly researched and written and takes the reparations conversation many steps beyond casual comments.
In the 20th century, the cause of reparations was taken up by a diverse cast that included the Confederate veteran Walter R. Vaughan, who believed that reparations would be a stimulus for the South; the black activist Callie House; black-nationalist leaders like “Queen Mother” Audley Moore; and the civil-rights activist James Forman. The movement coalesced in 1987 under an umbrella organization called the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA). The NAACP endorsed reparations in 1993. Charles J. Ogletree Jr., a professor at Harvard Law School, has pursued reparations claims in court.
But while the people advocating reparations have changed over time, the response from the country has remained virtually the same. “They have been taught to labor,” the Chicago Tribune editorialized in 1891. “They have been taught Christian civilization, and to speak the noble English language instead of some African gibberish. The account is square with the ex‑slaves.”
Not exactly. Having been enslaved for 250 years, black people were not left to their own devices. They were terrorized. In the Deep South, a second slavery ruled. In the North, legislatures, mayors, civic associations, banks, and citizens all colluded to pin black people into ghettos, where they were overcrowded, overcharged, and undereducated. Businesses discriminated against them, awarding them the worst jobs and the worst wages. Police brutalized them in the streets. And the notion that black lives, black bodies, and black wealth were rightful targets remained deeply rooted in the broader society. Now we have half-stepped away from our long centuries of despoilment, promising, “Never again.” But still we are haunted. It is as though we have run up a credit-card bill and, having pledged to charge no more, remain befuddled that the balance does not disappear. The effects of that balance, interest accruing daily, are all around us.
In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”
Again "The Case for Reparations" by Ta-Nehisi Coates (theatlantic.com) is a truly outstanding and epic article. It is well worth the investment of time.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
To the Right Wing Media Racists ….and other Media Racists masquerading as moderates/liberal/whatevers … who have Heartburn when Blacks talk about racism and call racists out for their racism.
This is a racist country, but Black folks are not going anywhere. We have earned the right to stay and fight for who we are and that is exactly what we will do. We will only make the trip back to Africa, when you return to the country of your ancestors. In fact, some of us were here before you, even as slaves. You remember slavery don't you? The Christian American Institution that made a Black race of people work for a White Race of people for free because they could. Now, for core racist attitudes throughout the media. Most in the Media do not have a clue about racism because most in the media are not Black, and most Blacks…not all…but most will not talk about racism if it slapped them between the eyes. They are not isolated. Blacks in…let's say positions of some privilege and even Black elected officials …have decided, to ignore racism and go along to get along. So racists in the media continue because they know some Blacks and Whites will look the other way. Remember silence in the face of wrong shows complicity.
Sobering thought for Right Wing Racist and Traditional and Local Media….Some of us, not all, but some of us will talk about racism and point fingers at you for following the racist playbook and continue to fight for our birthright. Blacks have lived through the racism of this country going back to slavery…and we are still here. We will fight and continue to fight against those who use skin color as a disqualification for equality and fair treatment. We have fought racism for years…we are fighting racism now…we will continue to fight racism…some of us anyway. Those who will not fight, do not know or realize they are Black.
So get angry with the Black Attorney General of the United States and the Black First Lady of the United States for speaking the truth in their hearts and minds. Get angry and stay angry if you must. Your anger does not change one thing. Remember they, like many of us, have seen you at your racist worst!
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.
These are not my words. This passage comes from RMUSE writing on the Politicususa.com website (one of my favorites). It is an excerpt from his article entitled "Eric Holder Calls Out the Rampant Subtle Racism in American Culture" and captures where we are in this country today.
"No American in their right mind can claim with a straight face this nation is not rampantly racist whether it is manifest in Republican opposition to President Obama, George Zimmerman stalking and murdering Trayvon Martin, education leaders closing poor schools in minority neighborhoods, or law enforcement racially profiling and the criminal justice system disproportionally incarcerating African American males. It is worth noting America’s racism has been encouraged and tolerated as white supremacy permeated the population. Even after a Civil War, the 14th Amendment, the now-dead Voting Rights Act, desegregation and the Civil Rights movement, the time for intolerance of racism in any form is at hand. Anything less is supporting racial bigotry/hatred that came back in vogue in January 2009 and remains popular because those who oppose it are silent."
The Struggle Continues.RLHSR.